End of the Year 2021 – Newsletter
2021 has been a year of change, challenges and uncertainties. We had two lockdowns in Auckland, one in March and one in August until now. We faced a continuing global shortage of electronic parts, disrupting the supply chain and freight. We have all had our moments. We have been buoyed and resilient through the commitment of our partners.
Here is a quick summary of our up-and-down journey in 2021.
While we were in lockdown in April, Matt brought a pi-top. Our Econode general board fits perfectly within. The pi-top is a DIY laptop that young children build by themselves when they learn to code and create fantastic devices. It is never too young to learn computer codes as Manuka had learnt to build a 3D computer game with her Outschool extra curriculum. Potentially, the Econode board can be a learning kit for schoolchildren or computer experimenters.
The Taranaki Taku Tūranga - Towards Predator-Free Taranaki project is successfully rolling into Year 3 with Primo Wireless and IoT Taranaki support. It was the first project funded by Predator Free 2050 Limited in 2018 and is now showing signs of being possum free. Sharing the joy, Econode 2021 production team celebrated node number 10000 on the field, marking a milestone of ten thousand devices working around New Zealand with trials in Australia and the EU. When will we reach node number 100000?
Econode showcased the prototype Satellite gateway using Swarm technologies for LoRa IoT devices at Fieldays 2021. Each gateway can be mounted into its power source (12V solar panel), weighing less than 2kg, so field workers can easily install it. It offers a network solution for reliable sensor placement in remote/tricky to reach places. We know that power consumption and connectivity are always hot topics during the development of products. In particular, the New Zealand landscape brings particular challenges to outdoor wireless sensor devices.
Our research paper "Power Supply Dynamics for Outdoor IoT Sensors" is now available for the public on ResearchGate (click here for full text). For three and a half years, we monitored the system closely to gather enough data on the power consumption of SmartTrap nodes. It is a collaborative academic paper that Matt and Ann co-authored with Steve Cosgrove at Whitireia Polytechnic and Andrew Howblow. Matt and Steve won the Excellent Presentation Award at CITRENZ 2021 Conference, Wellington, in July.
We recently teamed up with Auckland Council to install Econode IoT devices to monitor the kauri dieback. Kauri dieback is a severe disease that kills kauri trees. Lots of the work involved to contain kauri dieback. It decimates kauri forests in northern New Zealand and is particularly severe in the famous Waitakere Ranges in West Auckland.
In Dairy Farmer Magazine, December 2021, Samantha Tennent wrote about Econode and the journey of developing a wireless monitoring system. Samantha and Matt talked about the internet of (every)thing and endless opportunities for digital sensors and utilising the LoRa network to benefit modern farming. Matt shared the success of remote trapping projects and his continuing development on network connectivity. Full virtual version of the magazine here, page 54-55 (click here)
Lockdown is not a slowdown for us as we had more time to focus on our R&D. An IoT power monitoring circuit board has been developed and will soon be in production and available for the market. The shortage of electronic parts has forced us to source alternative solutions from our international suppliers and slow down our production process.
"The power of connectivity is the future, and our philosophy is empowering conservation with technology." – Matt Way
Our team at Econode would like to thank our partners, friends, families, suppliers, and customers for sharing this journey with us. We thank everyone who supported Econode and made our dream come true. We genuinely believe the IoT technology enables us to protect our Paradise and the birds. Moreover, our nodes had achieved this goal.
Our success is the success of a collective and collaboration. It acknowledges that everybody has something to offer, a piece of the puzzle, and we can all flourish by working together. We are bound together from each aspiration and growth, facing the challenges ahead.
Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari kē he toa takitini.
Our office will be closed from Wednesday 22nd December 2021 and reopening on Monday 10th January 2022.
We wish you all a great summer and holidays.
Mēre Kirihimete me te Tau Hou!
From Matt, Ann and Manuka Way of Team Econode